By John Hart
There are three main types of keyboards to choose from--synthesizers, digital pianos, and acoustic pianos. Regardless of which type of keyboard you choose, be sure that it has 88 keys, touch sensitivity, a sustain pedal, and a quality music holder.
A cheap synthesizer is ok to start with, but keep in mind that these are very limiting for a pianist seeking to grow in their ability to express music. Plan to graduate to a better instrument as soon as possible.
Digital pianos are still fairly portable and typically have better quality piano sounds than synthesizers because the sounds are sampled from high quality acoustic instruments. Some digital pianos even allow for various levels of touch sensitivity.
The acoustic pianos typically purchased for household use are: spinets, (less expensive, but lacking in good tone quality), console pianos, (a little more expensive, but better in tone and expression), and baby grand pianos, (more expensive, larger in size, beautiful in tone, and very expressive.) It's a good idea to have your piano tuned twice per year, and more than that if it has been moved or subjected to big changes in temperature or humidity. For information on choosing a piano tuner and caring for your piano, visit the Piano Technicians Guild website: http://ptg.org
Stay tuned also - AWSOM will soon be offering piano tuning exclusively to its students!